Every Atari 7800 Game Reviewed
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5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom

Funkmaster V & Crossbow Review

7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre: Multi Directional Shooter

Awards: None
Look, Kids! Space Rocks, Big Ben, Parliament! Pros: If you like shooting rocks, here ya go/ Excellent Multiplayer Options
Cons: Gotta miss the vector graphics
Look, Kids! Space Rocks, Big Ben, Parliament!

Overview: (Parts of this review was written by Crossbow in 2005) Ah yes, the venerable vector game which helped create a legend that would be Atari. No matter what you think about the game Asteroids today, you have to recognize that this game was a cornerstone the video game industry built upon. The object of the game? Blowing up space rocks with your pew pew pew laser. Be careful, when you blow up a large asteroid, it will break apart and release smaller asteroids in random directions and speeds. If all this fast moving and hostile space debris isn't enough... UFOs come out of nowhere with their "Save The Space Rocks" T-shirts on to blow you out of the sky to quell your domestic disturbance sins.

Graphics: This is a simple classic arcade space game, so graphics always tend to be simple yet effective with these things. In short, it works. If you are an arcade purist, the vector graphics will be sorely missed. However, these ice cream looking asteroids look three dimensional and spin effectively. Mint green and cherry red... delicious. The biggest hiccup in the graphics department is probably the simple triangular ship you pilot. It's one color and devoid of any markings or flags... how are we supposed to know if these Asteroids are communists or not without an American flag on the side of our ship?

Sound: The audio is not much different than the 2600 version of Asteroids. Besides noises associated with the UFOs and an occasional ambient sonar jingle drop that randomly pings out of your TV speaker, I think the sounds are identical.

Gameplay: Asteroids, Pong, Missile Command, Tempest, Centipede... these games and others like it define that Atari seminal mantra "easy to play, difficult to master." To help you out, it is possible to play this game with your favorite Atari 2600 joystick if you'd like. The button fires the laser cannon, pushing down on the stick button sends your ship into random hyperspace when things get hairy (and sometimes it blows up for no reason... Elon Musk should have tested that a bit more before releasing it). The controls are funky, up thrusts the ship forward, left/ right spins the nose cone clockwise or counter clockwise. It is possible to be flying in one direction and still be shooting around in 360 degree stylez like true super agent gangstas. Moving the ship seems to be extremely dangerous, because controlling it is quite counter-intuitive. However, you must move the ship or you will get all smashy smashy. It's like when you are injured making a row boat at your remote wood shop. You cut your hand off with a band saw and the only one who can drive you to the hospital is your dog. It's just like that. You are screwed if you stay put, you are screwed by moving. That was a hell of an analogy and you are welcome.

Interpretation: People romanticize vector graphics, but these candy colored space rocks are perfectly fine as a replacement. I may even prefer them, but I know classic gamers like to b*tch about missing vector graphics to impress kids and small plants. The biggest issue here is that this title is very different to replicate in the home with ANY system because the arcade version doesn't even feature a joystick. That's right! All you have at your disposal in the arcade room is like 5-6 buttons to press. To me, that seems like it was designed to eat your quarters and overwhelm you. I probably prefer the joystick... but even so, all Asteroid ports are a different vibe than their arcade daddy.

Value: With the insane speed of the enemies & rocks, this game could have some longevity in your library of playable games if you relish the challenge. However, other than frequency and speeds of the UFOs and asteroids, nothing really changes in this game as you progress. It can become monotonous very quickly if this isn't your bag. But here we go again with these early 7800 ports, the 7800 version of this classic title brings the amazing two player modes to the table. And if you have a friend that likes these old games, you can choose to play alternating turns, co-op, or competitive modes, where you can shoot each other and strain your friendship. You can be a real a-hole and target asteroids near your buddy when he's pointed in an unfortunate direction.

Overall: An Atari enthusiast that goes by Crossbow did Funk a big ole favor years ago and wrote this review and he scored it a 2.5... and while I agree with him that this game is a little bland for today's standards, it is an excellent port of one of the most important titles in Atari history. Pac-Man Plus, the notorious Atari 7800 hobby programmer says this is his favorite Atari 7800 title. That's gotta mean something, right?

Other reviews of Ace of Aces:
Atari 7800 Forever: 3.5 out of 5.0 (Good)
Atari Invader: 4 1/2 Fujis
The Atari Times: 10 out of 10
JoseQ's Emuviews: 5.0 out of 10
Tomorrow's Heroes: B+
The Video Game Critic: A

Our Old Score: 2.5 out of 5.0 (Weak)

Additional Info: This review was graciously co-written by Crossbow in 2005

***There is an Asteroids Easter Egg! Click here to see!